Showing posts with label Buzzcocks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Buzzcocks. Show all posts

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Did Anything Happen To Music .. or Did I Miss It?

There are usually times in history when musical scenes reboot themselves, probably starting in the nineteen twenties when recorded music became a thing and we had early jazz , blues and crooners making the way into the public consciousness via vinyl and radio. Gramophones and radios were commercially available and spread to sound through the populace especially in the USA and UK.

Six years ago I published a personal history of musical media from the wax cylinder to today's digital streaming here.

After the war we had crooners , Jazz , Western Swing and the beginnings of Country and Western. Rock and Roll was the first big flash propelled by Bill Haley & The Comets "Rock Around The Clock" the film "The Blackboard Jungle" and the genesis of the teenager as someone who could buy things including music, plus the tribalism of Teddy Boys and the like.

In the sixties there were Mods and Rockers, Skinheads psychedelia , ska and reggae , garage rock but this was just a quite smooth progression , resulting in some major rock bands and an unfeasioble amount of money and pretension. In the seventies we also go glam and all along the mainstream kept morst of the public satisfied as it still does today.

Then punk hit , hating the establishment , and prog rock (but ironically loving Fleetwood Mac's "Tusk") but still referring and eulogising krautock , reggae , sixties garage rock and more, while pursuing a minimalist shoestring sound epitomised by The Buzzcocks "Spiral Scratch" , which is why I was so disappointed by The Sex Pistols "Never Mind The Bollocks" as to me it was a heavy metal album, so sounded good but more metal than punk.

This resulted in lots of small independent music which was eventually absorbed by the big labels. 

And since the during the eighties we saw Goth , and Grunge and Baggy at the start of the nineties, and while there is always good music coming through there's been no big band since the mid seventies and no small bang since the early nineties.

So did I miss something or did I just get old? Franks Zappa said that when the old guys were in charge of record labels they would always give anything a shot. Could you imagine a major label releasing "Trout Mask Replica" or even "The Texas Jerusalem Crossroads" today?  Sing the young guys moved in it's all about product and markets , not art and music.

So what should I share, I'll go with the Bill Haley song.

Sunday, 17 March 2019


A weekend where I cannot bring myself to write anything. I feel I should be doing stuff but can't do anything and am feeling bad because I haven't done anything. I am trying to be positive but it is very hard. I keep find faults with things and things that need fixing but don't have the talent to fix them properly so will have to get someone to do it.

I know lots of people have to go through this and do not have the the resources I can call on to get things done but it is still less than ideal.

The other day I sort of dreamed / thought I had dies but like in films and stories the next stage was how to let people know I was OK and the realisation that I didn't have do deal with the drudgeries of everyday life. The thing is I am still here and well aware of all the good things and great people I know in life so I will be coming out of this sometime soon.

I was feeling so lethargic yesterday that I missed the launch of Dog Years' debut "A Flame In Waiting" so the least I can do is share a Dog Years song with you and if you want to buy the album there's a link below. The song "Spookychurch" apart from having a wonderful title (and I do love the mouse on the cover of the album) sounds in the same universe as The Stooges fronted by Howard Devoto, well worth investigating and getting hold of.

I am quite surprised that I have never mentioned The Stooges without Iggy or Howard Devoto without The Buzzcocks or Magazine, but it's always good to learn something about yourself, or something you do.

Also writing this has improved my mood no end so obviously I need to knuckle down and write more, and not be so apathetic and lazy and miss importants gigs by my friends' bands.

I am als so happy that new music is continually being produced and Dog Years is a prome example of that.

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

When You're Thick .... As A Brick

One of the problems with a  great deal of "progressive" music is that often the pieces stretched out for sometimes mind numbing length with obvious classical pretentions, although ironically the collections of songs together often created a uniform thematic piece thin "Wee Small Hours" by Frank Sinatra, "Tommy" and "Quadrophenia" by The Who and "Dark Side of the Moon" by Pink Floyd. Pink Floyd weren't averse to stretching out musical pieces to twenty minutes ( a side of vinyl) and I remeber Mountain stretching out "Nantucket Sleighride" over two sides of "Twin Peaks" one of their live excursions.

The seventies punk movement was a kick against this, but even these bands eventually got hit by self indulgence and some songs definitely strayed past the ideal 2'59" limit, which is not always a bad thing. I love the Ramones, Garage Punk (about my musical level) but I also like a lot of progressive music often just thinking I will never ever be able to play that.

My favourite pair of Jethro Tull albums are "Thick as a Brick" and "A Passion Play" and today I was listening to the former as I walked into work. You can hear and understand every word Ian Anderson and teh band sing, often a criticism by "adults" that "you can't hear what they're saying", and for me the music holds my attention throughout the forty or so minutes you are listening. It brings in many moods from acoustic pastoral to agreesive jazz spliced rock and keeps you on board for the whole ride. At no point to do you want to leave. Dance music it is not but would have filled any seventies mosh pit.

I must say it does actually make a walk go musch faster when you are listening to great music. Although Ian Anderson has apologised for it, "A Passion Play" is very close to "Thick as a Brick" and is another album I have been listening to quite a lot recently.

Basically good music i good music and it is stupid to limit your listening because you don't approve of a particular genre. It may be just that my taste is unusually eclectic that I do enjoy album length pieces but The Buzzcocks "Love You More" was only 1'30" on it's original release and that is just just as good as "Thick as a Brick" and both are in my collection.

Friday, 28 December 2018


It looks like HMV are heading for administraion again. Last time their stores were selling anything, but music is still not their core sale product, although it is the core product you associate with HMV. One of the problems is that a great deal of people think that this is the only offline place you can get music. I Newcastle there are half a dozen record shops (listed and linked here)which a lot of people just ignore. Probably the same people who insist on going to Tesco rather than the Grainger Market for food.

They just sent me an email advertising their sale but the site doesn't work. Yesterday I bought two lots of vinyl from Discogs, which is a goldmine for both buying and selling music.

So I thought I would just mention this, it's not particularly important but they are blaming the high street malaise where everyone is shopping online. The thing is online is cheaper and often more convenient but it doesn't provide the interaction you get from a shop, that's for records or anything else. With that interaction you often get extra information and almost get a relationship with the person in the shop.

I don't know their names but I am friends with all the people in the shops I visit., and that takes me back to the shops. While I drop into HMV every now and then they are seldom my first port of call to buy a record, although I have bought from them. The problem is HMV is just another chainstore, it has no customer loyalty,  like any chainstore, and as such people will not be too botherd if it sinks or swims (apart from the employees), so I will share The Buzzcocks' "Why She's A Girl From The Chainstore" which seems sort of appropriate.

Monday, 10 December 2018


Looking outside the cars are frozen up. I don't have a car, so I don't go through the harassment of scraping the ice off the windscreen in a morning, but it does make it cold going for the bus or walking in. This is where my full ear Emopeak headphones come into their own, as well as providing great sound, they keep your ears warm.

Christmas decorations are up and I do have one or two presents to sort out, but Amazon Wish lists are a great convenience.

Last few days I've not really felt like writing anything although I did want to write something to mark the Buzzcocks' Pete Shelley's passing and finally did that last night here.

This morning 6Music reminded me of the excellent "Thank God It's Not Christmas" from "Kimono My House" by Sparks so I'll share that with you before I trip off to work.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Time Sharing

When I started first in programming at Littlewoods we were given access that used a "Time Sharing System" which we were told would make it seem as though we were the only person using the system. It was a lie of course but we dealt with it.

In life we often have to work out how to share time between work , chores , stuff that needs doing , time to be alone, do what you want and rest , and spending time in a social environment with friends, family and loved ones. I try to load mine in favour of the last two, but each of these groups can also be subdivided into sub groups.

Today I have to go to work so that's eight hours out of my day , after six hours sleep, ninety minutes of getting up and showered and writing this, then an hour to walk in to work , to try and hit my 11K for today, but I need to get the bus home as I have a delivery from Iceland coming. How mundane is this post? Still these things may be the highlights of some people's lives.

Ideally aim to do what you want and enjoy , and be happy. Life is difficult and confusing at times, but if you do things you want, then life improves wonderfully.

So before I leave , here's #ATuneaDayinMay , what more appropriate that The Buzzcocks "Boredom" from the "Spiral Scratch" EP. This allows me to have a brief rant on the genre of "indie" music. Many "indie" bands are on major labels, so how can they be "indie". It's 1984 doublespeak (which the governments in the UK, USA and Russia seem to use as a matter of course where the words used mean the opposite of their real meaning) . "Spiral Scratch" however was real "indie" , the Buzzcocks first release which they organised end to end. Ironically in this digital age we all have the technology available to record and release stuff from our own bedroom or office.... and that is still on my "To Do" List.

I decided to include the whole of the EP for you so you have eleven minutes of real "indie" music.

Anyway, have a great Monday everybody.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Sixteen Saltines - #ALifeInNumbers #16

Although I'm not feeling anywhere near 100% (they wouldn't give me a 'flu' jab) before bed I am gonna hit you with Number Sixteen. There are a hell of a lot of "Sixteen" songs from "!6 Candles" by The Crests and "16 Tons" by Tennessee Ernie Ford, (who I have featured before) to Sam Cooke, Ringo Starr and The Buzzcocks as well as Tom Waits (who is penciled in for number 30. There's also Chuck Berry and Iggy Pop and Michael Moorcock's Deep Fix.

So what do I go for , well what about "Sixteen Saltines" by Jack White. I know it's a bit off the wall but what the hell, it's a great song and worthy of a place in my 59.

Anyway , I am not feeling brilliant but I hope you enjoy this as much as I do.

Goodnight my lovely friends.

Sunday, 4 May 2014

Never Mind We Still We Have The Buzzcocks

Yesterday the weather was bight and sunny , today it's grey and wet. For some reason I decided to mow the lawn yesterday (which is looking a bit worse for wear but hopefully it will pick up with the lawn repair I've applied) , and to touch up the decking. It's amazing how many spots I'd apparently missed. The main thing is that it is all done.
The Line Up

It's amazing how good weather and sunshine raises the spirit , but grey skies and rain can literally dampen the spirits as well as your epidermis! But on the upside it is the middle of the bank holiday and there are lots of musical options on offer this weekend including the big punk all dayer at the Newcastle O2 Academy headlined by the Buzzcocks which will be my choice. On the bill are a local ska band Too Spicy who I first saw at the Green Festival, so definitely looking forward to getting along to that.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

May Day, Sting, Wallsend and The Buzzcocks

Well the next bank holiday is fast approaching and hopefully I'll be going to see the Buzzcocks and various other bands this weekend. This gives me an excuse to attach (again) my favourite Buzzcocks song which is probably not what you would expect, well actually I have two favourite Buzzcocks songs , one very short and one very long, Love You More under two minutes and Why Can't I Touch It over six minutes both on the Singles Going Steady album.

Sting on Spoons - and looks like Jess McD behind him but it's actually Jo Lawry
This week I watched When The Last Ship Sails by Sting , based on where he grew up (Wallsend), and was very impressed by many bits of it, especially the songs "Underground River (Language of Birds)" and "Shipyard", and Sting also displayed a sense of humour and played spoons on a number of songs!

I'm certainly looking forward to the play when it comes out, but Underground River gets better every time I hear it.

As it's May Day , Labour Day and the like , we should keep the Red Flag flying, and hopefully this current government will be kicked out on their arses, but anyway have a great day , enjoy yourself , put a smile on your face and keep on being happy.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Seven Days

It's the end of another week, and it's been mostly work, sleep, eat and travel. I have World Book Night and National Record Store day coming up and tomorrow I will be picking up my books. Also we have The Mouth Of Tyne Festival (though with the first two headliners being the Brand New Heavies and Toploader I may be leaving early , but Neville Staple will be there and his band were brilliant supporting the Buzzcocks a few years back.

The weather is getting better though I heard there was a Cyclone in the antipodes so I hope all my friends there are safe. Weather can be sometimes great, and sometimes frightening, but it's just pa part of the earth's ecosystem , and the earth is a pretty big and complex thing although it's surpising how many people seem to think that weather should be controlled and predictable.

Anyway the song that comes to mind is 10,000 Maniacs "LIke The Weather", so I'm going to love you and leave you and get off to work.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Has Nothing Happened?

I'm slightly amazed that I've only made two posts this months . Is this because nothing has happened or because I've been so busy with stuff I've not had time to post? Probably a bit of both...

I'm just recovered from an approximately 40 hour bout of 'flu which completely laid me out , not very nice at all . Just slept through while my Rumanian cleaners did their excellent stuff as usual . If you live in Newcastle and need cleaners  I can recommend APM Cleaners unreservedly.  Anyway now fully recovered and ready to go.

Preston North End have managed to stop conceding and start scoring again . The play offs are out of our reach but the club is on a more stable footing and there are some excellent young players gaining experience and Thorsten Stuckman is a great name for a goalkeeper . Pity we lost Neil Mellor to injury but the club has been stripped bare , but hopefully will become a lean mean fighting machine.

The lawn is looking like it needs mowing but another week wont hurt.

Looking forward to lots of music at the Doll @ The Black Bull , The central Bar , Trillians as well as the Mouth of Tyne Festival and Evolution (Jumping Hot Stage) where last year I discovered Mama Rosin (they're Swiss ya know) , as well as seeing The Buzzcocks , Neville Staples , CW Stoneking , Bellowhead , Billy Bragg a bit of Iggy Pop and more . Anyway that's it for now - enjoy the vids